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County spelling bee set for Saturday
Bee sponsors watching the weather
new_slt_bee file photo.jpg
Allison Regehr, left, holds a trophy for winning the Barton County Spelling Bee in this file photo from 2011. Next to her is Ethan Woodcock, with the runner-up trophy. Regehr, who won the bee multiple times, will be the pronouncer at this year’s bee, set for Saturday at the GBHS Auditorium. - photo by Susan Thacker

Barton County’s annual spelling bee will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Great Bend High School Auditorium.

Great Bend Kiwanis Club sponsors the event, which is known as the Donald H. Humphreys Barton County Spelling Bee. The public is invited to attend, said Kiwanis President Kate Wary.

“As always, the bee will begin with two practice rounds to get the spellers comfortable with the format,” Wary said. “Audience members, and any spellers who arrive late, must be seated before the 'live' rounds start, around 10:30 a.m."

There are nine Barton County elementary and middle school students participating in Saturday’s bee.

The pronouncer will be Allison Regehr, who won the Barton County Spelling Bee in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The judges will be Will Rains, Jay Luerman and Jean Cavanaugh. Wary will be the emcee for the event. 

As of Thursday, Wary said members expected the bee to go on as scheduled Saturday, in spite of inclement weather forecasts. If the weather becomes so bad that sponsors do cancel the event, they plan to make the decision before school is out on Friday so that teachers can notify students. Any cancelation would also be posted on the Great Bend Tribune Facebook page and the Kiwanis Club of Great Bend, Kansas, Facebook page.

Wary said it might not be possible to reschedule the bee if it doesn’t happen Saturday, due to registration deadlines for the next level of competition. The winner and runner-up will be eligible to compete in the Sunflower State Spelling Bee, set for March 9 at Newman University in Wichita.

The Sunflower Spelling Bee is a regional sponsor of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will take place May 26 through May 31 at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program. Its purpose is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives.